Hebei Key Laboratory for Brain Aging and Cognitive Neuroscience

Hebei, China

Hebei Key Laboratory for Brain Aging and Cognitive Neuroscience

Hebei, China
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Zhang Z.-C.,Hebei Medical University | Luan F.,Hebei Medical University | Xie C.-Y.,Qinghe Public Hospital of Hebei Province | Geng D.-D.,Hebei Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Neural Regeneration Research | Year: 2015

In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function. © 2015, Editorial Board of Neural Regeneration Research. All rights reserved.

Yan Y.,Hebei Medical University | Zhao J.,Hebei Medical University | Cao C.,Hebei Medical University | Jia Z.,Hebei Medical University | And 6 more authors.
Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is an active compound extracted from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Chuanxiong. Recently, it has been reported that TMP enhances neurogenesis, and promotes neural stem cell differentiation toward neurons. However, its molecular basis remains unknown. Topoisomerase IIβ (TopoIIβ) is a nuclear enzyme with an essential role in neuronal development. This study aimed to investigate whether TopoIIβ is involved in TMP-induced neuronal differentiation. We examined the effect of TMP on neuronal differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells. It was found that TMP inhibited cell proliferation and induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. TMP promoted SH-SY5Y cells to differentiate toward post-mitotic neurons characterized by long, out-branched neurites and up-regulated neuronal markers, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and tau. Meanwhile, we demonstrated that TopoIIβ was highly expressed following TMP treatment. To unravel how TMP affects TopoIIβ expression, two chromatin active markers, acetylated histone H3 (Ac-H3) and acetylated histone H4 (Ac-H4) were examined in this study. Our data showed that the levels of Ac-H3 and Ac-H4 were positively correlated with TopoIIβ expression in the processes of neuronal differentiation. We further performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis and identified that TMP enhanced the recruitment of Ac-H3 and Ac-H4 to the TopoIIβ gene promoter region. Therefore, we concluded that TMP may stimulate neuronal differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells through epigenetic regulation of TopoIIβ. These results suggest a novel molecular mechanism underlying TMP-promoted neuronal differentiation. © 2014 IBRO.

Li S.,Hebei Medical University | Li S.,Hebei Key Laboratory for Brain Aging and Cognitive Neuroscience | Kang L.,Hebei Medical University | Zhang Y.,Hebei Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2015

Testosterone (T), the principal androgen, and its metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), are known to mediate their effects through binding to intracellular androgen receptors (iARs). In addition to their well-known genomic effects, androgens rapidly alter neuronal excitability through a non-genomic pathway mediated by membrane androgen receptors (mARs). The existence and specificity of mARs in the hippocampus were investigated in SAMP8 mice. Using T-BSA-FITC, we detected plasma membrane labeling by flow cytometry analysis for the presence of mARs. The specificity of binding was examined with iAR antagonist or anti-iAR antibody. Flow cytometry analysis showed that pretreatment with iAR antagonist, flutamide (F), failed to completely prevent the coupling action of the T-BSA-FITC membrane binding. In addition, we found classical iARs did not localize to the membrane of hippocampal neurons. These data indicate that these mARs might be not identical to classical iARs. Modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by androgen has been attracting much attention. To identify the functional consequences induced by mARs, we analyzed the rapid effects of T on the density of dendritic spines using Golgi staining. The application of 50μg/5μl T and 30μg/5μl DHT induced a rapid increase in the dendritic spines within 2h. Almost no difference was observed between T and T-BSA in the effect on thorn density. Next, we explored the protective mechanism and found that T and DHT altered the expression of synaptophysin (SYN) and postsynaptic dense material 95 (PSD95), which play crucial roles in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Ma J.,Hebei Medical University | Ma J.,Hebei Key Laboratory for Brain Aging and Cognitive Neuroscience | Zhang Z.,Hebei Medical University | Kang L.,Hebei Medical University | And 7 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology | Year: 2014

Normal aging is characteristic with the gradual decline in cognitive function associated with the progressive reduction of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has developed into a novel neurological and psychiatric tool that can be used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency rTMS (≤1Hz) affects synaptic plasticity in rats with vascular dementia (VaD), and it ameliorates the spatial cognitive ability in mice with Aβ1-42-mediated memory deficits, but there are little concerns about the effects of rTMS on normal aging related cognition and synaptic plasticity changes. Thus, the current study investigated the effects of rTMS on spatial memory behavior, neuron and synapse morphology in the hippocampus, and synaptic protein markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal aging mice, to illustrate the mechanisms of rTMS in regulating cognitive capacity. Relative to adult animals, aging caused hippocampal-dependent cognitive impairment, simultaneously inhibited the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, reduced the transcription and expression of synaptic protein markers: synaptophysin (SYN), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), as well as decreased synapse density and PSD (post-synaptic density) thickness. Interestingly, rTMS with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, LIMS) triggered the activation of BDNF and TrkB, upregulated the level of synaptic protein markers, and increased synapse density and thickened PSD, and further reversed the spatial cognition dysfunction in aging mice. Conversely, high-intensity magnetic stimulation (150% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, HIMS) appeared to be detrimental, inducing thinning of PSDs, disordered synaptic structure, and a large number of lipofuscin accumulations, as well as reducing the number of synapses and downregulating BDNF-TrkB and synaptic proteins. Ultimately, HIMS further impaired the capacity for learning and memory. In conclusion, we infer that aging-induced cognitive deficits are closely associated with hippocampal structural synaptic plasticity, and low-frequency magnetic stimulation plays an important role in regulating cognitive behavior via changing structural synaptic plasticity, and BDNF signaling might participate in this event. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Yan Y.-X.,Hebei Medical University | Zhao J.-X.,Hebei Medical University | Han S.,Hebei Medical University | Zhou N.-J.,Hebei Medical University | And 9 more authors.
European Journal of Cell Biology | Year: 2015

Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is an active compound extracted from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Chuanxiong. Previously, we have shown that TMP induces human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell differentiation toward the neuronal phenotype by targeting topoisomeraseIIβ (TopoIIβ), a protein implicated in neural development. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate whether the transcriptional factors specificity protein 1 (Sp1) and nuclear factor Y (NF-Y), in addition to the upstream signaling pathways ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt, are involved in modulating TopoIIβ expression in the neuronal differentiation process. We demonstrated that SH-SY5Y cells treated with TMP (80. μM) terminally differentiated into neurons, characterized by increased neuronal markers, tubulin βIII and microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2), and increased neurite outgrowth, with no negative effect on cell survival. TMP also increased the expression of TopoIIβ, which was accompanied by increased expression of Sp1 in the differentiated neuron-like cells, whereas NF-Y protein levels remained unchanged following the differentiation progression. We also found that the phosphorylation level of Akt, but not ERK1/2, was significantly increased as a result of TMP stimulation. Furthermore, as established by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay, activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway increased Sp1 binding to the promoter of the TopoIIβ gene. Blockage of PI3K/Akt was shown to lead to subsequent inhibition of TopoIIβ expression and neuronal differentiation. Collectively, the results indicate that the PI3K/Akt/Sp1/TopoIIβ signaling pathway is necessary for TMP-induced neuronal differentiation. Our findings offer mechanistic insights into understanding the upstream regulation of TopoIIβ in neuronal differentiation, and suggest potential applications of TMP both in neuroscience research and clinical practice to treat relevant diseases of the nervous system. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.

Kang L.,Hebei Medical University | Li S.,Hebei Medical University | Xing Z.,Hebei Medical University | Li J.,Hebei Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2014

The senescence-accelerated-prone mouse 8 (SAMP8) has been proposed as a suitable, naturally derived animal model for Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the current study, we focus on the problem whether SAMP8 mice show abnormal behavioral and neuropathological signs before they present the characteristic of AD. Our results demonstrated that given the presence of the senescent, behavioral and neuropathological characteristics, the "middle-aged" SAMP8 mice appear to be a suitable and naturally derived animal model for MCI basic research. There is relatively less evidence that androgen may be involved in the pathogenesis of AD. We determined testosterone (T) levels of SAMR1 and SAMP8 mice and found that the marked age-related decrease in serum androgen levels may be one of the risk factors for Alzheimer's dementia. We also evaluated the interventional effect on MCI phase by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in male SAMP8 mice and found that timely and appropriate androgen intervention can postpone the onset and improve the symptoms of dementia. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Pan W.,Hebei Medical University | Han S.,Hebei Medical University | Kang L.,Hebei Medical University | Li S.,Hebei Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine | Year: 2016

The current study focused on how dihydrotestosterone (DHT) regulates synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mild cognitive impairment male senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice. Five-month-old SAMP8 mice were divided into the control, castrated and castrated-DHT groups, in which the mice were castrated and treated with physiological doses of DHT for a period of 2 months. To determine the regulatory mechanisms of DHT in the cognitive capacity, the effects of DHT on the morphology of the synapse and the expression of synaptic marker proteins in the hippocampus were investigated using immunohistochemistry, qPCR and western blot analysis. The results showed that the expression of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB), postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), synaptophysin (SYN) and developmentally regulated brain protein (Drebrin) was reduced in the castrated group compared to the control group. However, DHT promoted the expression of CREB, PSD95, SYN and Drebrin in the hippocampus of the castrated-DHT group. Thus, androgen depletion impaired the synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of SAMP8 and accelerated the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-like neuropathology, suggesting that a similar mechanism may underlie the increased risk for AD in men with low testosterone. In addition, DHT regulated synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) SAMP8 mice and delayed the progression of disease to Alzheimer’s dementia. In conclusion, androgen-based hormone therapy is a potentially useful strategy for preventing the progression of MCI in aging men. Androgens enhance synaptic markers (SYN, PSD95, and Drebrin), activate CREB, modulate the fundamental biology of synaptic structure, and lead to the structural changes of plasticity in the hippocampus, all of which result in improved cognitive function. © 2016, Spandidos Publications. All rights reserved.

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